F rom the moment a girl arrives in Reception, she will be embraced by the close and caring community that summarises the Old Vicarage. Her class teacher and teaching assistant will ensure she feels at home and the very high teacher-to-pupil ratio means that no one is overlooked.
Our small class sizes ensure that, as she progresses through the school, each girl can be focused on. Her teachers will pick up quickly the need to extend, perhaps in very specific areas, the most able and quickly pick up and support any difficulties. We also ensure that her concerns are addressed quickly, perhaps in Circle Time in a Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) lesson or individually. The Old Vicarage has a school wide programme of attributes, such as Honesty or Consideration, which form the focus of assemblies and PSHE lessons, providing guidance and timely reminders that underpin life in the school.
The younger girls are assigned buddies – girls who are three years older – who will befriend them in the playground, much as an older sister would, as well as join them at key moments of the year for events and outings. This establishes security and leads to some long lasting and very loyal friendships.
Our School Council, run by the Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl, collects suggestions from all the girls in the school, via the class reps, and gives a voice and responsibility to them all. Recent suggestions have led to playground games, a climbing wall, and ideas to include on the lunch menu.
All Year 6 girls are prefects and will help to run the school; from supervising movement around the school, leading playground games, serving lunch, to helping to organise sports fixtures and helping in the library. Some prefects are attached to our younger classes and provide valuable help in the mornings. The girls relish the responsibility and rise to the challenge.
Our houses, Burney, Elizabeth, Houblon and Sheridan; named after notable figures in the history of the building or Richmond – bind the girls together. Numerous social and competitive events on a house basis are organised each year and rewards for good work, behaviour, kindness and courtesy are counted towards the prestigious house cup presented annually at the year end.